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A few Dos and Don'ts to help with your entertaining

A successful soirée at home is something you can be proud of, especially if you managed to pull it off without crumpling under the stress. Here are 14 Dos and Don’ts that’ll help make any party a smashing success!

DO

  1. Do as much as possible ahead of time, so you’ll have more time for your guests.
  2. Read the recipe twice, you don’t want to forget those fresh herbs that make all the difference.
  3. Start cooking a little earlier than planned so you’ll have a cushion and you won’t finish eating at 10:30. We’re not in Europe, after all.
  4. Keep on top of any dietary restrictions among your guests without making a different dish for each person, you’re not a buffet.
  5. Create a playlist that fits the occasion: a little background music is always appreciated.
  6. Plan on seating for everyone, you don’t want to be short of chairs.
  7. Think about serving dessert in the living room, it’ll be a fun change of atmosphere and it could even help liven up the evening a little.  

DON’T

  1. Do not try out a new recipe, go with one that’s tried and true and that you like.
  2. Don’t put the music on too loud, people want to talk!
  3. Don’t put too much reliance on guests to provide hosting services or to bring things like decorations; they have the annoying habit of forgetting and counting on you to provide the ambiance.
  4. Don’t only invite perfect strangers; long empty silences are about as much fun as a cold dinner.
  5. Don’t wait until morning to start tackling the dishes, or it’ll be a real morning after the night before situation you don’t want.  
  6. Don’t say no to help serving.  You can even take the pulse of the evening in private with the person who volunteered to help out.  
  7. Don’t force the issue if someone says “no thank you”, it’s possible the person does not like dessert and no one wants to feel pressured.

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